The Secret to Happiness!

The secret to happiness is…..

….to LIVE life with purpose and gratitude.

When I think back to life a few years ago, I never really understood how to live life with gratitude or with purpose.  I took for granted that I had my health and forgot how to have joy in the little things.

I remember this moment.  I wanted to disappear into the crowd and I definitely did NOT want my picture taken. You can see it in my face.  PUT THE CAMERA DOWN…

This probably sounds corny or cliche, but we owe it to our kids, our partners, to our loved ones, and most importantly to ourselves to take care of our bodies.  By taking care of our bodies, in turn we are taking care of our mind too!  There is nothing better for your mind, body, and soul than to exercise and be proud of yourself for your accomplishments.  I was once a hater of all things active, so it’s definitely a learned behaviour.

What happens when I say the word “DIET”.  What do you think of?  The word “Diet” has horrible connotations attached to it.  To me diets are about will power, restriction, self-control, deprivation, etc.

Living a HEALTHY lifestyle is NOT a diet.   It’s a way of life that celebrates living the best life possible.

It’s about balance, being proud of your accomplishments, pushing yourself forward, celebrating your healthy body and all it can do, enjoying whole food packed with vitamins and nutrients and feeling the boundless amounts of energy that comes from eating that type of food.  It’s about feeling in control (this one is HUGE for me) and most importantly, feeling gratitude for your life.   LIFE IS GOOD.

When people ask me how I lost the weight, I often get the same reaction after I tell them it was through healthy eating and exercise.  Groans and eye-rolls…because we are trained to believe that it can’t be done or sustained because it’s a diet.  We are so used to hopping on the diet bandwagon and giving it all we got for a bit, only to realize that we can’t sustain it and then feel like a failure when the weight comes back on.  It’s a terrible cycle and it leaves a person feeling defeated.  I’ve been there, and it sucks!

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.  It really doesn’t!  If you think you can’t do it…you are absolutely wrong.   There is such freedom when you find a lifestyle that works for you and it can be sustained.

So where does one start?!

Start with little manageable changes and keep going!  Cut out processed, high-fat, high-sodium foods.  Eat the way nature intended…foods as close to their natural state as possible: whole grains, lean protein, veggies & fruits. ALWAYS eat breakfast.  Pack small healthy snacks (around 100 calories) so you never go hungry.  Eat smaller meals.  Plan your meals ahead. Walk instead of ride.  Take the stairs.  Dance, move, run, swim, cycle, jump, LIVE!

Read this: Dr. Phil’s “The Ultimate Weight Solution

Even if you’re not a Dr. Phil fan, this book is great because it touches on all the elements that go hand in hand with losing the weight and keeping it off.  It’s not about the food.  It really isn’t.  There are many reasons for obesity, but for me it was so much more than just the food.

Find support!  I found a great group of women all going through the same trials I was (thank you “Living FIT/JTTH” girls! I love you & I’m so thankful for you)

I’ll support you! Leave me a comment or e-mail me at hopaluk (at) shaw (dot) ca

I remember this wonderful moment too:  I received my goal weight key-chain from my weight loss support group!

By living a healthy lifestyle, you will tap into a side of you that you may not have known existed.  I can’t begin to tell you the freedom and zest for life I found when I realized that I didn’t have to be “the big girl” for the rest of my life; however, it’s not about the size you are or how much you weigh. It’s about honouring yourself and living the best life possible.


35 thoughts on “The Secret to Happiness!

  1. Incredible. I’m in shock that first picture is you. She seems to be so much more somber and less outgoing then the current personality that I know. Absolutely amazing Christine…

  2. Chrissy, you are a true inspiration. Such an amazingly beautiful person inside and out, I am honored to call you a friend!
    Thank you for posting this.

  3. Christine.. You are awesome! This is such a great thing. I too have battled weight issues my ENTIRE life, and still am. My story is so similar to yours it is unreal. I enlisted the help of Jenny Craig b/c I couldn’t do it alone. I have 20 lbs left to go, am almost there. But you are so right – it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change…. Thank you for being an inspiration and I will be bookmarking your page, too! 😀

  4. I don’t have words Christine, you are just one of those People that I am so lucky to know and I actually feel bad for People who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you. I want to put it on a billboard or something, HAVE YOU MET CHRISTINE ? If not I will introduce you, she is amazing and wonderful and talented and strong! Ok…what was I thinking? Of course I always have words. LOL

  5. I have also made the big lifestyle change. I feel great. I have also become a bit of a work out fanatic. Have more energy and stamina by changing my food choices. You are definitely on the right track. Awesome.

  6. Chrissy I just wanted to say thank you for being you!!! You are such a great person!!
    I love what you wrote!!!

  7. Life is indeed good ……

    Being ‘healthy’ is more than what you weigh – it is about how much you enjoy LIFE …… it is more fun to dance with your kids & watch your veg. garden grow, than sit on a couch with a boring bag of chips & watch TV anyways!


  8. Awwww I ❤ you! I am there and need to be there, I just need a push I guess! You inspire me and I am make this MY year! Thank you for being you!

  9. Christine, you are a rock star! What an inspiration you are. You have given me an ah ha moment for sure…it is not just about the cookies, I have to dig a little deeper. Thank you for putting it all out there, you are amazing!

  10. Christine I am so glad to have you in my life, you inspire me to be better to myself therefore being happier which makes my family strong and solid. Thank you for writing this and touching everyone in that certain spot that they needed. I hope your as touched as we are reading all your feedback.

  11. I am blown away by the comments. I was honestly scared to share this link and put myself out there. Reading these comments has moved me to tears and my heart if totally full. Thank you all 🙂

  12. Wow! babe that was really great, i am so glad you decided to share! i am so proud of you, your story is so inspiring to so many! the world is a better place with u in it ! love u!

  13. Chrissy, when you joined JTTH, you bacame an integral part of my life, and you continue to inspire me, support me, encourage me. You are always there for me to celebrate my accomplishments and give me a (((hug))) when times get tough. What you have done here is just your wonderful self reaching out beyond the confines of Living FIT to others who need you, too! I am so proud to call you friend…and so very blessed! ((((((Chrissy)))))))

  14. you look wonderful…. I am so thrilled at how changing the way a person eats can make a huge difference….i lost 21 lbs just from eating a balanced breakfast, smaller portions in meals…and high proteins for energy and joining the fitness club…Now that I’ve read your weight loss experience…I want to continue living a healthy lifestyle…and keep the weight off!

  15. Christine,
    You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly in “your time” and it is amazing to see. 🙂

  16. you are one of the most beautiful, fun and talented ladies I know. You are an inspiration and I am honoured to call you my friend. Keep on shoulder dancing 🙂

  17. Oh Christine, that was great. What makes it so great is that it came from a “real” person. Not someone paid to say these things. You are a very motivating person and inspirational to me and you stink of success!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Christine, your amazing. It seems recently when ever i hit a low spot in my life, I go to your blog and what I need is there. You have shared something on your blog that truely picks me up and gives me the courage to carry on. I cannot begin to tell you how much you have inspired me & given me courage. For me to know that if i need to reach out you are there with, encouragment or an email or what ever. I truely thank you and I really look up to you and the woman that you are! THanks Christine!!

  19. You should change your name to ‘inspire.’ Then we could go out and start a motivational speaking company called ‘Hope and Inspire’ lol.

    You’re incredible, and very loved, and even more respected. Soak it up, sister – you deserve it!

  20. The Hope & Inspire show…lol. Only you have to do ALL the talking because talking in public gives me hives. Hence the blog… lol

    Thanks ladies for your kind comments 🙂

  21. You are surrounded by love and you surround others with inspiration and energy. You should be very proud…I am always proud and love watching your “evolution.” xoxox sister. Love you so much. Thanks for sharing.

  22. “Success is not defined by the number of titles you acquire, but by the obstacles you overcome.” Booker T. Washington
    Keep looking forward…forward to people and things that are positive. I wish you all the best in the New Year!

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